CFA Questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by thederek, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. thederek

    thederek Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I have a few questions regarding the CFA that I couldn't find in any other previous CFA threads.

    Pushups:

    The instructions for the CFA state that the person being tested

    "May rest in the “up” position, flexing or bowing
    the back as long as he/she does not lift a hand/foot
    off the floor, or touch any other body part on the
    floor
    . Must return to the straight body, front leaning
    rest position before attempting another repetition."

    This pretty much eliminates all forms of actual "rest" and requires the pushups to be done in one set?


    Situps:

    Any tips on form, speed, etc.?
    Did you find it beneficial to rest in the up position, as it says is allowed?

    Thank you for your help!:thumb:
    Derek
     
  2. airstriker

    airstriker Member

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    For push ups, I suggest you to do it everytime a commercial is on tv. I have done it and it helps. Do around 50 and go to the gym too to lift weights. For sit ups hit the mid section of the leg. You do not need to hit the top of your knees. Just the midsection this way you save time. For pull ups I bought the pull up bars just like the one from tv. For the run part just do 1 mile every othervday and shave off seconds then. Point is this progress. You have to set goals goals for each one.
     
  3. weathermom

    weathermom Member

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    pushups and situps and pullups oh my!

    Hello...
    regarding pushups...I can only tell you what worked for my daughter. As she practiced more she got stronger and adjusted her technique.. she rested in "up" position with her rear in the air.. it seems swayback was too much stress on her back and arms. She would do a good 7-8 and then rest for a few seconds and then do 4-5 and rest.. etc. The trick was not to become anaerobic and burn out before the two minutes is up... to do it and stop before the exhaustion sets in and regroup. It is not all brute strength, but in the technique.

    On the other hand, she went straight out and maxed her sit ups at 95. During training for the CFA, she seemed to plateau around 70 for a long time, then moved up to 80 etc... took about 2 months every other day to get up to it.. I think the most she did was 102...but it does not matter after 95. I believe the key is to have someone hold your feet that has an iron grip. Also knowing how much time you have left is helpful. During her training her friends would call it out to her every 15 seconds.. so you get used to doing it at a certain pace. She did the CFA (practice) at least 6 times a week.. but worked out to get stronger for 4 months at least 4 times a week for a couple hours each time.

    Pull-ups... 1 pull-up counts more than a flexed-arm hang all day long. It was probably her biggest challenge. The trick was to work every other day and to start in the up position and lower yourself down as slowly as possible. Although it is not so much a problem for guys, upper body strength for females seems to be more challenging. After she got past that "point" of the vertical rise, now she can do them. The thing with the CFA, in my opinion is to get a stop watch, a tape measure, ball, mat, etc. keep it in the trunk of the car and do it every chance you get.. and run 1.5 miles, so then the 1 mile seems less when you do the real one.

    Good luck.:thumb:
     
  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Push-ups--try to get a bunch out before pausing. Also, if your arms get tired adjust your hand placement (wider=more back muscles, fingers out=more triceps)

    Sit-ups--do lots! Seriously, if you crank out 150 crunches every day, plus do some running, maxing the sit-ups will be easy. Personally, I bend at the hip (using hip-flexors), keeping my abs tight, and hitting just above the mid-point on my thigh. (My 2min record was somewhere in the low 130s.)

    Pull-ups--Thumb OVER the bar! Use your back.
     
  5. Mikil

    Mikil USAFA Cadet

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    You've gotten a lot of great advice so far. I only have a few extras.

    In agreement with weathermom, resting with my back arched and rear up helped my push-up count a lot. I think I did about 30, then rested a bit, then did 8-9, rested, and so on (I'm a girl). I think the key is knowing when to rest, and how long. So, as they say, practice makes perfect.

    For sit-ups, everyone's been right on. Like airstriker said, mid to 2/3rds thigh is all you need to do. And only go down far enough to touch your shoulder blades. I also bent at the hips, and using this technique got me into the 90's.
     
  6. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    No, what they're saying is that if you get tired, you may rest by doing what other people said- putting your butt out or curving your back but keeping your feet and hands on the floor. In other words, you may rest like this, but if you try to keep doing "pushups" in such "slack" positions, then they're not going to count. As long as you return to the regular pushup position and the time hasn't run out, you may continue doing pushups.
     
  7. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    I hate situps- they hurt my back too much. It's not because i have a weak lower back- i dont, it's just that situps are dumb at testing "core strength". But anyway- yes, i found it very useful to rest in the up position. I also thought that we were supposed to touch the top of our knees, so i guess I put more effort in that I needed to.
     
  8. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    That's exactly what I did - except I sucked at situps (less than 60), but cranked out 70 pushups. I also rested at 30 with a significant arch in the back (because you can shift most of your weight to the legs with a flexible back), then just went for it the rest of the time. I hardly practiced situps before the CFA, but now practice it heavily in preparation for BCT.
     
  9. Mikil

    Mikil USAFA Cadet

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    That's what I thought too...and that's how I did them the first time. I only did 55. I was asked to re-take the CFA, not because of sit-ups but rather my run time. In between my first and second CFA's, I read about going half-way somewhere on here. So reread the CFA portion of the Instructions to Candidate document and found this:

    I began to practice sit-ups this way, and the second time I took it I was able to do 91.
     
  10. thederek

    thederek Member

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    Thank you everyone for your advice.

    The halfway up the thigh tip on the situps should help me out a lot, as I thought I was pretty strong abs-wise, but (during a practice run) didn't do well on the situps.

    As for pushups, I'll start trying to figure out the best resting point...but thank you again for all this great advice.


    Derek
     
  11. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I'm just clarifying, since I'm the one going to the gym with my son and counting his pushups and situps as he does practice CFA's. As he does pushups, it's okay if he moves his arms around some, as long as he slides them and doesn't lift them or shake them or anything? It seems like in order to get his rear into the air (which is how he wants to rest), he kind of has to slide his hands in some (toward his legs). It also seems to help some if he shifts the position of his hands while doing them (ie maybe palms angled out some for 25 or 30, then angling them in some to work different muscles). I just wanted to make sure this is allowed and it's not that your hands pretty much can't move at all.

    Thanks!
     
  12. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    Moving your hands is fine, just make sure you keep two hands and two feet on the floor. In otherwords- try not to lift them. But you can definitely shift them around if needed while resting. Just make sure you return to the pushup position when continuing (which are normal pushups, not wide or close- hands at shoulder distance from each other, etc.).
     
  13. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    thederek, it's so awesome how you are beginning the application process before school is over! Getting the paperwork done early, and practicing your CFA well in advance of actual test will pay off for you! Good luck!
     
  14. thederek

    thederek Member

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    Thanks, it's my dream (as I'm sure it was for many if not all of you) and has been for a loooong time so I'm pulling out all the stops.

    Encouraging run-thru results today:

    pushups: 60
    situps: 75

    still working on it :]
     

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